Using DNS (Domain Name System) to block specific websites involves configuring your DNS settings to prevent access to certain domain names. Here’s a general guide on how to do this:
1. Choose a DNS Service
- Public DNS Services: You can use public DNS services like OpenDNS or Google DNS that offer the option to block specific websites.
- Custom DNS Server: If you have the expertise, you can set up your own DNS server with customized filtering rules.
2. Configure DNS Settings
- Router Level: To apply the block to all devices on your network, configure the DNS settings on your router. This involves logging into your router’s admin panel and changing the DNS server addresses.
- Device Level: To block websites on specific devices, change the DNS settings on each device individually.
3. Set Up Website Blocking
- Using Public DNS Services: Services like OpenDNS allow you to create a free account where you can specify which websites to block.
- Custom DNS Server: If you’re using a custom server, you’ll need to configure it to return ‘null’ or a different IP address for the domains you want to block.
4. Apply and Test the Changes
- After configuring the settings, apply/save them.
- Test the configuration by trying to access the blocked websites on a device connected to the network.
- DNS-based blocking is not foolproof: It can be bypassed using VPNs, proxies, or changing the DNS settings at the device level.
- Privacy Concerns: Some public DNS providers might track your internet activity. It’s important to choose a trusted provider.
- Impact on Network: Incorrect configuration can affect your network’s internet access.
For Advanced Users
- Scripting and Automation: You can automate the blocking/unblocking of websites on a schedule using scripts.
- Integration with Network Tools: For more sophisticated control, integrate DNS blocking with network monitoring tools.
DNS blocking is a straightforward way to restrict access to specific websites on your network. It’s most effective for basic content filtering and is easy to set up, but it’s not a complete solution for internet control or security. For more advanced needs, consider combining DNS blocking with other network security measures.